That’s the view of energy consultancy Inenco, which believes the reprieve granted by the Environment Agency until 29th January 2016 “doesn’t go far enough to alleviate the compliance pressure faced by industry”.
Under ESOS, around 10,000 of the UK’s largest businesses must conduct detailed energy audits across their business operations.
They must notify the Environment Agency by the 5th of December 2015 but no enforcement action will be taken for late notification until the end of January next year.
Inenco CCO Dave Cockshott said: “Given the extension is only until 29th January, with Christmas shutdowns and busy trading periods for those not closed, it is in effect only a four-week extension. This is insufficient to address the backlog of companies still requiring an audit. At present only 150 businesses are fully ESOS compliant and Lead Assessors are being asked to take on work that they cannot deliver.”
He added customers initially found the new legislation difficult to understand and “underestimated the time needed to complete it”.
“I simply cannot see how such a short extension will enable the sheer volume of businesses whose audits remain outstanding to complete on time”, Mr Cockshott said.
Energy consultants at Utilitywise however believe businesses will welcome the flexibility.
Head of Consultancy Services Sam Davidson added: “It’s encouraging that officials will bear with businesses that are actively making strides to comply and can evidence progress of their compliance journey on 5th December. It is also welcoming to see that these businesses will not be subject to the legislated penalties.
“By not enforcing penalties straight away for those organisations that are actively underway to complete ESOS, it will give businesses additional time to make the most of the scheme and hopefully implement the energy savings measures recommended to them.”